As a child I grew up with my aunt and uncle who were senior adults. My mother married a man that was not my father. I have an older sister, but our grandparents in the Midwest raised her. She and I did not live with our mother until she married our stepfather. Since we were young in age, I about eight and my sister about eleven, we had to obey Mom’s rules, particularly about obeying my stepfather.

I can’t remember when the sexual abuse started, but I remember thinking that this was not normal. I recall one time my stepfather taking my sister, my cousin, and me to the drive-in movie. He sent my sister and cousin to the concession stand and directed me to get in the back seat and lay down. Of course, I was frightened and did not know what he was going to do. When he was finished he told me not to tell anyone. It took a while for my sister and cousin to get back from the concession stand with the treats so he had time to do what he wanted with me. I didn’t say anything; I was too frightened.

I remember another time when my stepfather and I were at home alone. He made me come to my parent’s bedroom, lie on the bed and he proceeded to rape me. Again, I was told not to tell. This type of sexual abuse went on for a while, I can’t remember how long, but I do remember at some point in time, I told my mother.

When mom wasn’t around my stepfather would treat my sister and me poorly; he was rude and would speak real rough to us. Mom, however, would treat him as though he were a king. She would cook him ribeye steaks, mashed potatoes, and asparagus, while giving us beans and rice. He would say that he had some ailment and that he had to have special food.

Anyway, mom did not believe me. She thought that he loved her too much to “molest” her daughter. I did not know that I was not the only one he was molesting. But it all came to the forefront when my sister became pregnant. She confronted him and he denied it and wanted to fight my mom. Later, we found out that it wasn’t just my immediate family but my cousin as well. He was arrested and had to serve time prison. When he came out after four or five years, he expected my mother to continue their marriage. She didn’t!

There was another time when my junior high music teacher tried to molest me. I was taking piano lessons from him. As long as he came to the house, all was well, but one day after school I went in to talk with him and he hemmed me in a corner and tried to kiss me. I did not tell anyone, but I was frightened of him and told my mother that I did not want to take lessons any more. Of course, I didn’t tell her because of the other incident with my stepfather.

When I was younger, around seven or eight, I remember being at the park swinging on the swings. A teenage boy came over and asked me if I wanted him to push me, so I said okay but each time he would pull me back to push me forward, he would move his hands closer to my private area. I guess he was trying to feel my private area. It scared me so badly that I jumped out of the swing and ran home which was right across the street.

How have these ordeals affected me? I have not forgotten any of them, and I never will. I am still dealing with them. Every now and then I think of my childhood experiences, especially when I hear of children being molested. What was the purpose of this experience? What was I supposed to learn from it? I can’t answer those questions but God has allowed me to keep my sanity and sharing with other women who have experienced similar issues has helped me. I am grateful that AVA is shining light on this evil.

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